What Is a Trailer Ball?

The trailer ball is the main component that ties your towing vehicle to your trailer’s coupler. It’s an essential piece of the towing system and is available in a variety of sizes, weight capacities and lengths to ensure proper connection to your truck and trailer.

There are four key measurements when choosing a trailer ball: the diameter, the weight capacity, the shank length and the rise. These measurements are important for selecting the correct hitch ball for your truck and trailer.


A Trailer Ball is a part of a towing system that connects the coupling to the vehicle. It is a critical component in this complex system because it pivots the coupling of the trailer or caravan to allow the trailer to turn as it moves around a vehicle.

Tow vehicles typically come with a receiver tube that attaches to the hitch pin of the hitch ball, which is then attached to the coupler on the trailer. It is important to select the correct size of ball for your towing needs.

There are several factors that go into choosing the right ball for your truck or SUV, including the diameter, weight capacity and shank length. These are all critical factors that determine the safe and reliable use of your trailer.

The most common tow ball sizes include 1-7/8″, 2″ and 2-5/16″. In rare cases, a 3″ ball may be used for heavy-duty applications.

Hitch balls also vary in size for shank diameter and length, which Trailer Shackle factor into the overall weight capacity of a towing system. Generally, the higher the shank diameter and shank length, the greater the weight rating.

Another important factor is the rise, which is the height of the shank above the base of the ball. If the rise is too low or too high, it can prevent level towing of a trailer.

Finally, it is essential to note that the shank length of a hitch ball must be long enough to fit into the hole in the correct ball mount for your truck or SUV. This will ensure that the hitch ball can be easily installed and tightened with the nut after it is screwed in.

Getting the correct trailer ball for your vehicle is an essential step to ensuring the safety of you and your passengers. This is because the wrong size can cause your tow vehicle to be too loose or become unhitched.

Weight Capacity

If you’re planning to tow a trailer, you should know its weight capacity. This will allow you to select the proper ball hitch size and trailer coupler, which are both important to ensure safe and secure travel.

If your trailer is loaded with too much cargo, it could sway dangerously when you drive on the road. This can result in a car’s wheels hitting the side of the trailer or even causing a collision. This can cause damage to other cars on the road and possibly your own vehicle, so it’s critical that you know your trailer’s gross weight before towing.

To determine your trailer’s weight capacity, you need to consider several factors. First, you need to determine the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your truck. This will include the weight of your tow vehicle, your trailer’s weight and any cargo you load onto it.

Second, you must calculate your tongue weight, which is the weight of the trailer’s tongue. This amount must be within 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight for safe towing.

Luckily, there are some simple and inexpensive ways to calculate your trailer’s tongue weight. One option is to use a bathroom scale.

Another method is to take your rig to public government scales or to private scales operated at grain elevators, scrap material yards, sand plants and rock quarrying businesses. This way, you can avoid paying for costly DOT inspections or penalties.

Finally, remember to factor in the weight of any optional equipment you have on your trailer. This includes water, food, clothes, bike racks and any other accessories that might come in handy when traveling.

A 2-5/16-inch trailer ball is typically rated for 30,000 pounds, making it the perfect choice for large commercial and agricultural trailers. It can also be used on many popular boat and utility trailers, along with campers and travel trailers.

A 2-5/16-inch ball has a high shank length and diameter, which allows for a higher capacity than the smaller 1-7/8-inch balls. This allows it to be able to hold a lot of weight, and the high-quality construction makes it durable enough to withstand heavy use.

Shank Length

A trailer ball is a critical part of your hitch, and choosing the right one can make or break your towing experience. The size and quality of your trailer ball determine how well your vehicle pulls a trailer. Fortunately, selecting the best ball isn’t as hard as you might think.

First, find out what size trailer ball your coupler requires. You can usually find this information stamped somewhere on the coupler or engraved into its frame. Then measure the inside opening of the coupler and choose a trailer ball that matches the dimensions.

Next, measure the shank length of your chosen ball. This will give you an idea of how high the ball will sit off the base of your hitch. It is important to get a length that will be long enough to provide a good connection between the two parts of your hitch.

Lastly, you should also consider the rise of your chosen trailer ball. A rise is the height that the trailer ball will rise off the base of your hitch when you use a trailer hitch mount to level your vehicle and trailer.

The most popular sizes of trailer balls are 1-7/8-inch and 2-inch diameters, although some manufacturers offer 3-inch ball sizes as well. These are often used for heavy-duty applications like gooseneck trailers.

A 1-7/8-inch ball can tow up to 2,000 pounds, while a 2-5/16-inch ball can tow up to 3,500 pounds. However, you should never exceed the Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR) of your vehicle or trailer, as this will result in damage to your car, truck or SUV. The most important thing to remember when choosing a trailer ball is that the size, weight capacity and other specifications must all match in order for your towing experience to be successful.


A trailer ball is an essential part of any towing setup. It Trailer Shackle attaches to the ball mount of your hitch and is designed to handle the weight of your load without causing damage or excessive wear on your hitch.

There are several things to consider when choosing the right trailer ball for your needs, including size, weight capacity and shank length. The diameter of the ball is also a factor. A 1-7/8-inch ball is a common choice for lighter-duty towing applications and can handle up to 2,000 pounds. Likewise, a 2 5/16-inch ball can support up to 8,000 pounds while a 3-inch ball can tow up to 30,000 pounds.

You’ll want to select a ball that matches the diameter of your trailer coupler. This measurement should be stamped directly on the coupler or easily accessible with a tape measure.

Once you’ve chosen the correct ball size for your needs, it’s time to pick a suitable ball mount. These can vary in size and features. Ideally, the mount you choose has the necessary drop or rise, shank size and weight capacity to ensure safe and efficient towing.

In order to determine a ball mount’s rise, you’ll need to take two measurements: your hitch height (Measurement A) and the coupler height of your trailer (Measurement B). Once you’ve calculated the difference, it will be easy to select the proper drop or rise for your tow vehicle and trailer.

How to Measure for the Drop of Your Hitch

Using a level, measure from the ground to the top of your hitch receiver opening (when it’s completely level). Next, subtract the height of your trailer coupler (distance from the bottom of the coupler to the floor). The difference between these two numbers is the amount of drop needed in your ball mount.

Once you’ve determined the right drop and rise, you’ll need to select a shank that fits your ball hitch. Typically, the shank of a ball hitch is made from a steel that is coated in chrome or stainless steel. However, if you have a heavy-duty ball hitch, you might prefer to go with an uncoated or forged steel shank for added durability.